Monday, January 1, 2018
ADIEU 2017 - WELCOME 2018 - WHAT HAPPENED IN 2017 - WHAT MUST HAPPEN IN 2018
Thank You 2017. Adieu.
We have all just taken leave of 2017. Like any other past year, 2017 is not going to revisit any of us in the future.
Our Past never returns.
That is the way time is structured. Nothing of the past ever returned.
2017 was of course a Great Year in many ways.
India had peaceful elections to many states.
Sri Ramnath Kovind became the Indian President and Sri Venkaiah Naidu became the Vice President.
Supreme Court Banned Instant Triple Talaq. Lok Sabha also passed the Bill for the purpose.
India and China got into a Border Row over Doklam and finally resolved the dispute.
India’s Manushi Chhillar won the 6th Miss World crown for India in Sanya, China.
Cyclone Ockhi hit Tamil Nadu and Kerala
2 Great Films hit the Indian screens. One is BAHUBALI-2. Second is Dangal.
Bahubali-1 and Bahubali-2 are the greatest movie classics made in India in recent times. S.S.Rajamouli, the Director, Prabhas, Rana and all other actors and Technicians lifted the movie to extraordinary levels of International standards.
Dangal was also a great movie. But, If entire India chanted one name last year, it was BAHUBALI. With a Director like S.S.Rajamouli and a writer like Vijayendra Prasad, it is now clear that India can produce Great movies for world Audiences. Prabhas, Rana, Anushka and others just lived their roles.
Politicians come and Politicians go. Indian Politics need lots of cleansing. We need to see a lot of such cleansing in our politicians. 2017 too failed to cleanse and change most of them. Many of them continue to be corrupt, violent, dishonest and Game playing.
Yes. Narendra Modi is absolutely different from them. But, his effect is yet to fully percolate down within his own party and in all other parties.
Some recent By-elections made us wonder – why people voted the way they did. If Politicians are to change, People should change first. We must want a corruption–free, violence–free, hate–free and honest politics. Let us hope, we will first want that change in 2018 at least.
Demonetization, GST, RERA and a few other measures went through with some turbulence. Hopefully, they will all prove to be good for India in 2018.The intentions behind them were great.
AADHAAR card was of course welcome but, we are beginning to feel that Individual Privacy is slowly being compromised because of AADHAAR INSISTENCE for all sorts of purposes.
Private companies, social media, MNCs are asking for/getting the AADHAAR Number and are likely to misuse it in many ways, unless, stringent measures are put in place, against such misuse.
Let us hope, AADHAAR is not allowed to destroy essential Individual Privacy except for Governmental Needs. Ideally, AADHAAR must be used by Government and Banks and by nobody else.
Telecom companies especially, need not be allowed access to AADHAAR. There starts all of its misuse. AADHAAR need not be linked to Phone Numbers. What is the need, I ask? May be, in sensitive states like J&K, it is needed but nowhere else. There also, AADHAAR linking with phone Number must be in the hands of Government, not Telecom companies.
It was reported that Payment Banks floated by some Telecom Companies were opening accounts of subscribers without their knowledge and consent. They were just warned not to do so. In my view, their Payment Bank Licence must have been cancelled. How does a subscribed knows that a telecom company has opened his account and is receiving various payments into it? What is the balance in it and how does the account holder know and draw it?
It is a very dangerous precedent and indicates the propensity for such misuse in future also which must not be allowed at all. RBI has not done much on this, to the best of my knowledge.
Life is a mix of Good and Bad. Many Good things are happening. Many bad things are also happening. Children dying in large numbers in a Government Hospital in UP was a sad event. Callousness and Carelessness was at its worst. Rapes and Gang rapes continue all across India as always. We are doing nothing much about them. Love Jihad is a fact of life and so are honour killings. We can’t shut our eyes to either of them. Both must stop.
What are the 3 things which must change immediately in India, I will name these :
1. All Politicians must be at least Graduates. They must have clean records and no criminal records. If a criminal record is there against a Politician, a competent special court must try the Politician and decide the case within a maximum of 6 months. India must not have a tainted Politician in Power. Weeding them out must be a swift Process. Money Power and Muscle Power must have no place in Indian Politics. A Mahatma Gandhi or Kamaraj must be able to win Elections in India again. Election commission and Government must put in place all necessary reforms for this purpose.
2. Indian Judicial System is woefully tardy. Nothing gets decided in reasonable time. There are cases which are over 2 Decades old. In my view, if any case remains undecided beyond 6 months, it is – JUSTICE DELAYED AND JUSTICE DENIED. More importantly, it is encouragement to INJUSTICE and Criminality. For that, Indian Police system must first become non-corrupt, politics-free, honest and efficient. Then, the Judicial Procedures. The culture of Adjournments must stop. Decisios must be swist, correct and beyond question. The Honourable Supreme Court only can do all this and must do it, in the interests of Justice.
3. Our Education system is devoid of all Value systems. In the name of secularism, we have made it soul-less and non-human. Before I know about frogs and snakes, I must know about myself and how I must conduct myself in relation to my parents, brothers, sisters, children, spouse, neighbours and friends. Loving India does not come by birth. It must be taught. Loving and helping other people around does not come by birth. That must be taught. Loving and helping other state people, their languages, their culture and their habits also does not come by birth. It must be taught. Many states are teaching the opposite, by stressing on the superiority of their own language, culture etc.
Let us hope that all of us will work towards a United, prosperous India in 2018.
The biggest priority for Government in 2018 is – creation of Jobs for all the employable people. Development must be an integral part of employment and vice versa.
No development without employment and no employment without development. There should be NO IDLE EMPLOYMENT AT ALL anywhere – like it used to be under MNREGA earlier.
My strong suggestion and advice to Government at this Juncture is – do not do anything now, which curtails existing employment. All such things can wait for a later day. For instance, Merger of Banks. Government can wait for all that. There is no urgency for that. But, urgency exists for creating employment.
Remember Mahatma Gandhi’s words on Good Governance. Think of the face of the poorest man in India, before you attempt any policy matter on Governance. Convince yourself that what you are planning is helpful to him in some way. That is Good Governance.
Stock Markets and companies were buoyant in 2017. Many companies are expanding very fast, right at this moment. Encourage this process in 2018. The Momentum of Growth has started well, though all are not able to see it as yet. We must cheer the Corporates which are expanding and substitute all purchases with Indian Brands, even if slightly costly. Over all, these Indian Products will be cheaper and hugely beneficial for India. Make in India must be followed up with BUY in and of India. Without the latter, the former cannot succeed.
Stock Markets, companies and Investors showed immense faith in Modi Government and supported some painful measures like Demonetization and GST. RERA was of course a very welcome proposal.
But, in the name Budgets and Tax collections, some foolish proposals are doing the rounds now. One such is – Long term capital gains tax. There could be nothing more foolish than this in killing the very soul of the Corporates. There are essentially 3 types of players in stock markets but just one type of player in corporates.
(1) Futures & Options market is- for pure speculators. They are concerned with stock prices going up and down and not with the underlying corporates going up or down. They have absolutely no care or concern for the corporates.
(2) Short term Players – who buy stocks, get them registered against their names and then sell them in a very short time, when prices go up or down. They sell within a month or 3 months or at any rate, within less than one year. They too are not concerned about the Corporates in any way, but are concerned only with their personal profit.
(3) Long term Players – The health of all corporates and the whole development process in India depends on the long term Equity holders of Indian Corporates. This needs to be clearly understood by all of us including Investors, Corporates, Stock Exchanges, Government and also by people at large. The long term Equity holders are the ones who track companies, criticize or appreciate company policies, write to company managements on what is going wrong and right in the company, meet them when they can, and take enormous interest in the health of the company. Many attend General Body meetings, participate in discussions, make valuable suggestions, hold managements accountable to them and discuss all companies performance on web sites, discussion forums etc.
They are the OWNERS of the company.
The other 2 categories are interested in share price movements and not the underlying corporates. Many of the first 2 categories are extremely happy if share price goes down significantly! They anticipate and wish for it. They bet for it. They don’t care a hoot if company goes into oblivion because of it. The only person who wants the company to stay healthy and expand always is – the long term equity holder. DON’T EVER THINK OF TAXING HIM ON PAR WITH SHORT TERM PLAYERS AND SPECULATORS. Don’t tax his Long term capital gains at all. You are taxing him anyway in two ways already. When the company makes profits, you are taxing this owner, the long term player, in terms of Corporate Tax. When he gets dividends, you are taxing that too, at the source itself. His efforts and his income are thus already taxed TWICE. So, why a third time? Allow him to think and feel like the owner of the Company. India needs him. Every corporates need him
But why one year for classifying as Long term? There is a strong reason for that too. One year is the optimum long term period, not the maximum long term period for which he holds the equity. The promoter may have held the equity for, say, 10 years. Now, the share price is, let us say, at Rs.2,000. Suddenly, the share price starts falling. The promoter group is selling slowly at the high price of Rs.2,000. The promoter group knows the inside story and is privy to many inside facts. It knows that performance is failing and therefore it is selling its holding. Now, I am holding the equity for about 1 ½ years. What should I do when Promoters are selling and share price is falling? Should I wait for 3 years? To stop promoters’ insider trading of this nature and many other such reasons, one year is the ideal period for classifying as Long Term.
Promoters are not telling me all facts but they are encashing them. Swiftly, the share price comes down from 2,000 to Rs.1,100. If promoter and other insiders are selling without telling the facts to others , long term player also must have that option. That is the reason for the one year term for Long term capital gains exemption.
There are many such sound reasons for allowing long term capital gains as exempt from Tax. This should not be looked from mere Tax earnings point of view. It is needed to ensure corporate health and a sense of ownership of the company.
I do hope, better sense prevails in the North Block when taxation proposals are taken up and they will drop this proposal forever. It appears BSE made this proposal. It should understand that Long Term Players must be exempted from Tax to support Indian Corporates’ healthy functioning. No one should look at such institutions as long term Equity holders from the view point of Tax alone.
On the other hand, others should be encouraged to become long term players too. For instance, short term holders holding scrips for less than 3 months – need not be considered for Dividend at all. Now, You hold a scrip on the crucial day and you get dividends. You can sell off within a week! This meaningless.
I have dealt with a few aspects only in this Article. Hope you will enjoy and you will agree too.
Let us step into a Glorious 2018 together.